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Japan's trade minister says INCJ could invest in Toshiba chip unit if it made sense

Japan's Trade and Industry minister Hiroshige Seko speaks at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, August 3, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese government-backed fund, the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), can invest in Toshiba Corp's chip unit if it makes sense, the country's industry and trade minister said on Thursday.

"INCJ's role is to support industrial innovation and if a proposal meets its objectives then it can get involved," Minister of Economy Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko said at a press briefing in Tokyo when asked about the possibility of INCJ investing in Toshiba.

Toshiba wants to sell its chip business to raise cash to cover charges at its U.S. nuclear business, Westinghouse Electric.

Mark Long, the chief financial officer, Western Digital Corp's (WDC.O), which wants to buy the unit, told Reuters in an interview on Thursday that it was in talks with INCJ and the development Bank of Japan and would consider a joint bid with them.


(Reporting by Ami Miyazaki and Tim Kelly; Editing by Michael Perry)